Fantasy Mailbag: Don’t quit on Murray or Grubauer just yet


Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (Darryl Dyck/CP)

3650 days, 87600 hours – a decade may seem like an eternity, just not in the NHL world. In five short days, we’ll jump headfirst into the year 2020.

From a fantasy perspective, the game is better than ever. Rest assured, the speed and skill showcased in today’s game is far more appetizing than anything presented in the clutch and grab era. Times have changed. And it’s for the better.

Aside from the significant uptick in offence the last couple of years, I’d say that we’ve seen a monumental philosophical change when it comes to goaltending. Thanks to the implementation of the timeshare system, there are few elite netminders remaining. At this point, you’re almost better off being patient when it comes to drafting a goaltender in your pool, a strategy that proved to be a successful one once again this season.

Before moving forward, let’s take a look back. Accompanied with their Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool values, I comprised an all-decade fantasy hockey roster:

This is a reminder that lists are designed for interpretation. I apologize, in advance, for not selecting your favourite player. I hope you can get over it.

Now to your questions:

All the power to you, brother. For what it’s worth, I much prefer Giordano over Ekman-Larsson, even with Hall in the desert for at least the rest of this season. The Flames are 8-2-3 under Geoff Ward. They’ve arrived.

Quietly, Chychrun is having a fantastic breakout season and sadly, no one’s talking about it. The biggest difference: he’s healthy. (Knock on the wood)

When it comes to this question, I still have to side with Trouba. At the end of the day, I can’t overlook his longstanding exposure to Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad. As the season has progressed, Trouba has looked more and more comfortable by the day. For the record, I prefer Trouba over anyone else on the backend, Tony DeAngelo included.

Because the Coyotes have Oliver Ekman-Larsson, they’ve been able to properly insulate and protect Chychrun so far to-date. It’ll be intriguing to see how the 21-year-old responds once teams adapt to his increased offensive activity. In a power play driven league, however, Ekman-Larsson continues to ride with the four forward first unit. That’s an ideal spot for high-end point producing defenceman in the NHL

For rest of season purposes, Trouba is the safer option. Props to Chychrun for the sneaky production, though.

While it’s hard to predict, I wouldn’t put money on it.

A brief glance at Marino’s pre-NHL numbers would suggest that he’s never really been an offensive dynamo. That said, the 22-year-old Harvard product has stepped up large for the Penguins this season in the absence of some key pieces due to injury. He’s demonstrated the innate ability to play up the lineup if need be. Mike Sullivan must love him.

At this point, view Marino as a potential daily play, nothing more.

Believe it or not, I don’t think the time has come, just yet, to move on from Murray. I’d give it another three weeks to a month.

We do forget how long the NHL regular season is. Tristan Jarry has certainly grabbed the reigns, but a couple solid starts from Murray can change that quickly. Considering he’s 25 and has two Stanley Cups already to his name, I have to give Murray the benefit of the doubt. He’ll find it again.

Monitor closely, but keep Murray, for the time being.

Considering Lundqvist will determine any process – full no-trade to his name – I’d say this idea is highly improbable. You can dream, however. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, the Sharks are old. Why get older?

Nope, stick with Grubauer!

As noted above, it’s a long season. Every goalie goes through their ups and downs. Just look at what’s happening in Boston right now. They haven’t won much lately.

In this day and age, you need both goalies to be productive. I’m a firm believer in goalies pushing each other in a two-goalie system. Backup Pavel Francouz has outperformed Grubauer recently. That’s his job to keep Grubauer honest.

Nothing to see here.

Truthfully, you can probably just roll with those two goalies (Price & Hart) for the time being. I get wanting to have a third option for insurance purposes but, your options seem extremely limited at the moment. There’s no sense wasting a roster spot on a subpar file.

What you could do is hit the waiver wire for some spot starts when need be. The key is to target goalies with favourable matchups. Some factors to help determine that include games against inferior opponents and also identifying teams suiting up in back-to-backs.

Have fun!

I’d choose Sergachev. I think Tampa will have a monster second half. All four players have their pros and cons.

The analytics community continues to love Kase. I still don’t see it, however. At this point, there should be no rush to own the 24-year-old forward, keeper league or not.

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